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February Tip
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February Tip

As talk of falling housing prices, rising consumer debt, budget cuts, and impending layoffs raise worries about the state’s economic health, more Kansans feel additional stress and anxiety about their financial future.

Recognize the impact of financial stress on you and your family. In tough economic times some people are more likely to relieve stress by turning to unhealthy activities like smoking, drinking, gambling or emotional eating. The strain can also lead to more conflict and arguments between partners.

Pause, but don’t panic. Pay attention to what’s happening around you, but refrain from getting caught up in doom-and-gloom hype, which can lead to high levels of anxiety and bad decision making. Avoid the tendency to overreact or to become passive. Remain calm and stay focused.

Identify your financial stressors and make a plan. Take stock of your particular financial situation and what causes you stress. Write down specific ways you and your family can reduce expenses or manage your finances more efficiently. Then commit to a specific plan and review it regularly. Although this can be anxiety-provoking in the short term, putting things down on paper and committing to a plan can reduce stress. If you are having trouble paying bills or staying on top of debt, reach out for help by calling your bank, utilities or credit card company.

Be alert to your needs—consider seeking help from a psychologist or a mental health center before the problem gets worse. For more ideas on coping with financial and other kinds of stress, visit the APA help center at


Kansas Psychological Association  ~  Phone: (866) 860-7313  Fax: (800) 784-9034